Monday, July 18, 2016

Correcting Mary's Family

Yesterday my friend Elizabeth shared her tale of search woe in the comments. She found the elusive census record after trying every trick she had. And I found my Mary Maddox Neff after trying a number of tricks, too. Having found those difficult records, we really need to leave breadcrumbs for the next searcher.

Ancestry and some other sites give us the ability to add corrections or additional information for some, but not all, of the information in a record. When we finish our happy dance, we need to take a few minutes to provide that correction. Our children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews and cousins will appreciate the help when they are searching.

Today I'll show you how to view Ancestry corrections and how to make them yourself. I hope you already do that and can just ignore this post.

Let's return to Absalom Neff, born in Ohio, indexed in the 1870 census. Here are the two results.

Notice the pencil after Absolam Loff who is living in Van Buren County, Iowa. That shows that there is a correction or edit to the record that was indexed by Ancestry. Otherwise I'd be wondering how Loff related to Neff. I have to click into View Record (not the image) to see the correction and who made it.

The record was indexed by an Ancestry transcriber as Absolam Loff. Under that name the brackets show the correction (or additional information) is the name Absolam Neff. Click that name to see information about the correction.

I contributed this correction to the name, stating it was a transcription error. I see the trash can only because this is my correction and I can choose to delete it.

Truth be told, the record is nearly impossible to read. Thank goodness for Absalom!

When adding a correction, we can go beyond errors and add some clarifications. I had already added the surname correction, but I could certainly add clarity on the first names. These initials are not at all helpful. Let's fix up his older sister. Still in the text view for Absalom, I clicked on C J Loff, which is one line up.

From this page, I clicked on View/Add alternate info. It brought up a corrections window just like the one for Absalom, above.

I then clicked on the button "ADD YOUR OWN". Now I can add information for Christina.

In this case, I want to add a variation of her name. I use the drop down arrows to see my choices and variation was the best fit. I have to type in the name as it should be. The explanation is optional, but as this is not a transcription error, adding a brief explanation helps the Ancestry reviewer as well as future researchers.

After clicking on "SUBMIT ALTERNATE", one more window comes up because I changed her surname.

I am asked whether to apply the surname change to everyone in the household. You'll want to choose wisely between APPLY and Close when making such a change. When I first submitted the Neff surname last year as a transcription error, I used APPLY, as that specific transcription error does apply to everyone in the household.

In this case, I did not need to repeat the surname change and the information I added is specific to Christina. I clicked on Close.

I can see the corrections that I just made, but no one else can see them until they have been reviewed and accepted by someone at Ancestry. Here's a final look at how Christina's corrections appear.

Today I added a first name for each person in the household, except Absalom. I added brief additional information from the 1880 census and from George's military records to explain the variations for George M, Ann Elizabeth and Laura.

Mary and her family are now all corrected and augmented in the 1870 census index. I'll share more search strategy the next time.

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